Andrea spent spring semester, 2002, at the University of Louisville, where he held the chair of Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Liberal Studies Program. In addition to offering a seminar on the Silk Road, 200 BCE—1500 CE and presenting a number of public talks on multiple Silk Road topics, Andrea honed his thoroughbred handicapping skills at the Keeneland and Churchill Downs race tracks. Although he always bet on the correct horses, most of the time they or their jockeys failed to understand what was expected of them.
Andrea continues to conduct research and write on a variety of pre-modern topics, including the transfer of ideas along Silk Road and the crusades in the context of world history. His research and other academic work in the period 2004-2010 brought him to China five times, where he studied Buddhist cave art at Dunhuang and remote sites in Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, Morocco twice, Turkey on six occasions to study various crusade sites, South and Central India, where he studied Hindu and Buddhist holy sites, Andalusia, Spain, where he photographed Moorish sites, and Ethiopia, where he devoted his labors to studying ancient and medieval Christian sites. He spent September 2007 in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan, and Tajikistan, where visited and photographed sites important to the ancient Sogdians, important merchants and travelers along the Silk Road. Less exotic but no less important academic locales where he has worked recently are England, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. In the autumn of 2010, he travels to China again, where he will lecture on world history at three universities, Istanbul to co-direct a symposium on Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations in the context of world history, and northern India for field work.
A somewhat recent book-length publication, Encyclopedia of the Crusades (Greenwood Press, 2003), looks at the classical crusades of the 11th through 13th centuries from the Abbasids to the Zangids. His favorite entry is “Cannibalism.” Ask your local library to order a copy so that he can fund future trips abroad. The 2nd edition of his Contemporary Sources for the Fourth Crusade (Leiden: Brill, 2009) saw the light of day. The question is: Do you really want to know that much about the early thirteenth-century sources for this crusade? Currently, the 7th edition of The Human Record: Sources of Global History, 2 vols. (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), is in press. This textbook, which he has coauthored with James H. Overfield since 1990, also subvents his travels. Shame on those world history instructors who do not adopt it.
Current projects include serving as General Editor for the 20-volume ABC-Clio World History Encyclopedia and Series Editor for Connections: Key Themes in World History (Pearson Prentice Hall). Taking on these burdens is an act of enormous hubris and sheer lunacy, but Andrea does so with humility and clear-headedness.He continues to be an active member of quite a few learned societies and currently serves as President of the World History Association (2010-2011). Andrea asks that you visit the WHA’s website www.thewha.org to learn more about this worthy association and to discover where and when the WHA will be convening and frolicking next. (Photo at right: Amid the ruins of a Buddhist Monastery in the Gobi Desert. He is not responsible for the mess.)